Fighting Failure with a Better Vision (Mistakes in Marriage)

13 Feb

Fighting Failure With A Better Vision

The photo above was taken from the entrance to the farm where Mary and I got married. It’s a perfect metaphor for the topic of this last post in what has been a truly humbling series to share with you.

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” – Helen Keller

The reason why this photo is the perfect metaphor is because we each stand at a crossing like this. Everyday we wake up and look at our spouses and face this same choice. We face crossroads like this in our life all the time, each and everyday.

Which way are we going to choose? Which direction are we going to steer our life, our marriage, our families?

Looking at the photo above, both paths would lead you somewhere, but only one would have led you to the wedding. Only one would have led you to the reception, the feast, and the beautiful reminder of the gospel, that was our wedding ceremony.

What I’ve learned, and what I hope you’ve seen through this series of mistakes, these deeply personal stories, is that only one direction takes us where we want to go. And only when both husband and wife make the same choice, take the same path, do you end up in the same place together.


That word. Isn’t that the only way to journey through life and marriage. Isn’t that the only way live?

You feel it when you’re not together. When you’re not together rarely does anything in life turn out very well. It affects and tends to disrupt everything we encounter in life, when together isn’t the picture of our marriages.

I certainly have experienced it to be true.

“Marriage has the power to set the course of your life as a whole. If your marriage is strong, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are filled with trouble and weakness, it won’t matter. You will be able to move out into the world in strength. However, if your marriage is weak, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are marked by success and strength, it won’t matter. You will move out into the world in weakness. Marriage has that kind of power—the power to set the course of your whole life. It has that power because it was instituted by God. And because it has that unequalled power, it must have an unequalled, supreme priority.” – Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage

As you’ve already read in the previous mistakes, clearly I was living proof that what Helen Keller speaks of above, is true. While I may not have been blind, I certainly was not living with any version of a gospel centered vision. (If you haven’t read the previous posts in this series I encourage you to do so. If for the very least, you’ll feel much better about yourself!)


Earlier this year, I was given, what I believe to be a prophetic word, from a good friend. This word has dramatically changed everything for me. It has given me the redemptive gospel context for which I now believe every marriage should operate under.

I’m not talking about egalitarian versus complementarian. I’m not talking about anything that the theologically elite present in ways to dominate, control, and manipulate.

The vision (word) I’m talking about is collaboration.

In that moment, when that word was spoken over me, it was like I was breathing my very first breath of fresh air in decades. Like all that I had known was stale, dry, and insufficient. In an instance, I felt a freedom that I hadn’t known. Because probably for the first time, I could appropriately name what it was that I had been wrestling with for as long as I could remember.

Collaboration spoke to the very essence of what it means to serve one another, what it means to love one another, and what it means to see the betterment of the other. And by definition, speaks to a shared sense of vision, a shared sense of direction.

That was the key that began to unlock everything for me.

And I believe it can for you as well.

You see when collaboration is what you’re after, each and every choice is made with the other in mind. Every opportunity for self to rise to the top of the hill and take over, is immediately put in check by the consideration (shared) view of the other. That’s an image of out serving one another, out sacrificing one another, and out loving one another.

A collaborative vision for your marriage will lead to an awesome marriage each and every time. (Be Awesome. Tweet That.)

The last thing I’ll say about collaboration is this: the word collaboration invites grace. It leaves room for mistakes, messups, and mis-steps. You can’t be FOR the other, and not allow room for grace to permeate throughout the relationship.


Here’s a challenge for you: schedule a purposeful, intentional time between you and your spouse to sit down and write out a collaborative vision for your marriage. What are the things you want to be known for? As a couple, what do you stand for? Support? What legacy do you want to leave for your kids? What mission do you want to tackle together?

Feel free to share those things in the comments below, but for sure take those things and put them where you both can see them and be reminded daily of your collaborative vision.

Avoid the blind spots of life, by intentionally reminding one another, how you’re FOR one another, and FOR that vision.

Then let the gospel of grace lead you walking that vision out daily.

UntitledMy name is Josh and I’m an Architect. But I don’t design houses or beautiful buildings or even great monuments. I design Experiences. But not just your ordinary experiences. I design Awesome Experiences. Thats why I’m an Experience Architect.  If you want to read more about Josh and his work, you can go to

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